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Arbitrary Detention: UN expert group to follow-up visit to Hungary

GENEVA (9 November 2018) - A delegation of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will visit Hungary from 12 to 16 November 2018 to follow up on its 2013 recommendations*, while continuing its engagement with the Government on addressing issues of deprivation of liberty in the country.

During the mission, human rights experts Ms. Elina Steinerte (Latvia) and Mr. Sètondji Roland Adjovi (Benin), will also assess the steps taken to achieve compliance with the recommendations made by the expert group in the past five years.

The delegation of the UN Working Group will meet with the relevant authorities, civil society and other stakeholders. It will also visit places of deprivation of liberty throughout the country. 

The Working Group will share its preliminary observations with the government on 16 November, and on the same day with the media at a press conference to be held at the Art’otel in Budapest (Bem rkp. 16-19) at 13:30. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.  

The Working Group will present a follow-up report to the Human Rights Council in September 2019.


(*) See the Working Group’s 2013 report on its visit to Hungary (A/HRC/27/48/Add.4).

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established by the former Commission on Human Rights in 1991 to investigate instances of alleged arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was clarified and extended by the Commission to cover the issue of administrative custody of asylum-seekers and immigrants. In September 2016, the Human Rights Council confirmed the scope of the Working Group's mandate and extended it for a further three-year period.

The Working Group is comprised of five independent expert members from various regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Seong-Phil Hong (the Republic of Korea); the Vice Chair-Rapporteurs are Ms. Elina Steinerte (Latvia; Vice-Chair on Communications) and Ms. Leigh Toomey (Australia; Vice-Chair on Follow-up). Other members include Mr. José Guevara (Mexico; Focal point on Reprisals) and Mr. Sètondji Roland Adjovi (Benin).

Check the Database of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

The Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights Country Page – Hungary

For more information and media requests, please contact: Ms. Lucie Viersma +41 79 752 04 85; lviersma@ohchr.org) and Ms. Gabrielle Wellemans (+41 79 500 00 32; gwellemans@ohchr.org) or write to wgad@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:  Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org).

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rightswww.standup4humanrights.org.